Joyce Dyer

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Joyce Dyer (born July 20, 1947) is a U.S. writer of nonfiction and memoirs whose most recent memoir, Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood, tells the story of the author's attempt to remember the first five years of her life growing up in an ethnic neighborhood in Akron called Old Wolf Ledge (known to residents as "Goosetown"), famous for its glacial formations, breweries, and cereal mills. Goosetown is the prequel to Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town, her book about the decades when Akron was the Rubber Capital of the World. In it Dyer provides a loving but complicated portrait of her father and a view of the relationships among Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, its employees, and the city of Akron, Ohio. Earlier memoirs were In a Tangled Wood: An Alzheimer's Journey and Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town. She has also edited two collections of essays, Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers and From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Machines. Her first book, The Awakening: A Novel of Beginnings, was a scholarly study of Kate Chopin, a turn-of-the-century American writer. Joyce Dyer is Professor Emerita of English at Hiram College, where she continues to teach occasional courses in creative writing. Her teaching and writing specialties are essay and hybrid nonfiction. Dyer's biography is included in Contemporary Authors, volume 146, and in the New Revision Series, volume 91.

Background[edit]

Joyce Coyne (Dyer) was born in Akron, Ohio, during the summer of 1947. Her father, Thomas William (T.W.) Coyne, was a supervisor for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and his experiences inspired Dyer to write Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town. Dyer’s mother was a clerk for the Board of Education in Akron. Dyer graduated with a B.A. in English from Wittenberg University and a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University. She has taught at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio, and Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. In addition to publishing six books, she is the author of numerous essays that have appeared in periodicals such as North American Review, Writer's Chronicle, and the New York Times, as well as many anthologies. She has run workshops throughout the Appalachian South and Midwest and served on staff at such programs as 826michigan Writers Conference in Ann Arbor, The Twenty: A Kentucky Writers Advance (with Nikky Finney), the Antioch Writers' Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the Appalachian Writers Workshop in Hindman, Kentucky, the Wright State University Institute on Writing and Teaching in Dayton, Ohio, and the Highland Summer Conference in Radford, Virginia. A few years ago she served as visiting writer in creative nonfiction for the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (NEOMFA). Dyer is currently working on a book about John Brown, a man who literally lived across the street from her in Hudson, Ohio, two hundred years ago. With her husband, Daniel Osborn Dyer, a book reviewer and teacher, she has lived in John Brown's town for over thirty years.

Awards[edit]

  • Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council, 2013
  • Goosetown selected as a finalist for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award in the category of /About Ohio/Ohioan
  • Pushcart nomination in essay for "Confessions of a Nail-Biter," 2009
  • Pushcart nomination in essay for My Mother's Singer, 2009
  • David B. Saunders Award in Creative Nonfiction, 2009
  • Co-winner of a chapbook contest sponsored by Word of Mouth Books and Seems, 2009
  • Pushcart nomination in essay for "Pallbearer" from North American Review, 2006
  • First Place, Writers on Writing Category, Best of Ohio Writers Contest, 2005
  • Gum-Dipped a finalist for Book of the Year (autobiography/memoir) by Appalachian Writers Association, 2004
  • Pushcart nomination in essay for "Recalling Firestone" from North American Review, 2001
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, fellow 1987 and 1988; grant with Reader’s Digest, 1990–91
  • The Awakening named one of the best academic books of the year by Choice, 1993
  • Midwest Writers’ Conference first place in nonfiction category
  • Appalachian Book of the Year for Bloodroot, 1998
  • Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council,1997

Bibliography[edit]

Academic publications[edit]

  • (1993) The Awakening: A Novel of Beginnings

Personal memoirs[edit]

  • (1996) In a Tangled Wood: An Alzheimer's Journey
  • (2003) Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town
  • (2010) Goosetown: Reconstructing an Akron Neighborhood

Edited collections[edit]

  • (1998) Bloodroot: Reflections on Place by Appalachian Women Writers
  • (2016) From Curlers to Chainsaws: Women and Their Machines